With several of its top players returning this season, the Myers Park girls’ basketball team likely was favorite to repeat as 4A state champions.
But if coach Barbara Nelson had any concerns about her 2014-15 team, it was a lack of veteran players and depth.
In junior Chanin Scott, the Mustangs found help in both areas.
Scott, who averaged 11 points per game over her freshman and sophomore seasons at Charlotte Latin, transferred to Myers Park last June. She has fit in comfortably this season as a starter, averaging 12 points and 8.9 rebounds in the regular season as the Mustangs advanced to the state-title game for the second consecutive season.
“I think my season is going very well,” said Scott, a 6-foot junior wing player. “I’m getting more physical and aggressive. My defense is getting better, too.”
Scott has been a nice complement to Myers Park’s established standouts, including post players D.D. Rogers, Stuart Ayer and Morgan Uptegraff and guard Aliyah Mazyck.
Rogers (who has committed to N.C. State) and Mazyck (University of Southern California) are both Division I recruits.
Scott uses her speed and jumping ability to her advantage on both ends of the court. She says she had always been a stronger defensive player but feels she has attained a balance since she’s been at Myers Park.
“(Scott) moves well laterally,” said Nelson. “She’s very fast. She gets up and down the court really well. She can defend anyone, from the other team’s point guard to its biggest player. Most of the time she is assigned to one of other team’s two best guards.”
As a former player at Randolph Middle School, Scott says she was acquainted with a lot of her new Myers Park teammates because she played with or against them in seventh and eighth grades, and in AAU ball.
“I thought, if anything, I could help the team defensively and make the team better,” said Scott. “I see my role as being a great defensive player, being able to rebound, putting pressure on the ball, finishing around the basket, and encouraging my teammates.”
Scott scored 14 and grabbed 10 rebounds in a season-opening win against North Gaston. Two games later, Scott put up 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Mustangs beat Weddington, one of the best 3A teams in the state.
Scott had a season-defining game Dec. 5 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Playing against Blackman (Tenn.) High, Scott helped shut down its star player, MeMe Jackson, who has committed to Tennessee.
Jackson, a three-point specialist, was held to three points on 1-of-8 shooting; however, the 56-39 loss was the Mustangs’ only setback of the regular season.
A week later, Scott had her most productive offensive game of the season, scoring 23 points in a 70-41 victory at Southwestern 4A rival Rocky River.
Scott has also come up big in a couple of state playoff games. In a second-round matchup with Greensboro Page, Scott recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. She scored 18 in the Mustangs’ 64-36 victory against previously unbeaten Winston-Salem Reynolds in the 4A West regional semifinals.
Nelson wasn’t the only Myers Park coach excited that Scott landed on campus. Scott was also a standout on Bettie Berry’s volleyball team that reached the state semifinals, leading the team in blocks (68) and kills (183).
A solid all-around athlete, Scott was the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state champion in the 400 meters when she was a freshman at Latin. She says she will not compete in track and field this spring.
Scott is being recruited at the Division I level for both basketball and volleyball.
Joe Habina is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Joe? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.